Most food establishments that slaughter, process, or sell raw meat need some type of meat license. 

Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) exemptions

  • Individuals slaughtering or processing meat or poultry, for personal use, are exempt from licensing.
  • Poultry growers slaughtering no more than 1,000 poultry per year for direct retail sales are not required to obtain an ODA license.

Federal jurisdiction and inspection

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has jurisdiction over most meat establishments.
  • With the exception of custom slaughtering, The Federal Meat Inspection Act requires all amenable species (cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, and other equines) to be slaughtered under continuous FSIS inspection.
  • With the exception of custom slaughter and small firms, The Poultry Product Inspection Act requires that poultry (chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and other domesticated fowls) be slaughtered under continuous FSIS inspection.
  • All post-slaughter processing of meat and poultry products for wholesale sales is subject to continuous USDA inspection.

Waste disposal

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulates waste discharge in Oregon. 

  • Up to 20 tons (40,000 pounds) of slaughter and processing waste can be composted on-site annually without a permit, as long as the composting process does not adversely affect surface or ground water. 
  • If waste is disposed of at permitted landfills, or into sanitary sewer systems, then firms raising, slaughtering, or processing poultry do not need to contact the DEQ or ODA regarding waste disposal. 

If waste is applied to crops or land, then a permit may be required. DEQ delegates the authority to ODA's Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Program to issue permits to firms applying liquid animal waste (from raising, slaughtering, or processing) to agricultural land. 

  • Prior to treating wastewater on-site, firms must contact DEQ at (503) 229-5696. 
  • Prior to land application of liquid waste, firms must contact ODA's Natural Resources Program at (503) 986-4700. 

Local government

In addition to complying with USDA, ODA, and DEQ requirements, firms that raise, slaughter, or process poultry must comply with local requirements. Local governmental agencies that may have authority over poultry operations include: 

  • City planning 
  • County planning 
  • County on-site septic
  • Local fire marshal
It is important that poultry firms contact their local government prior to operation to ensure their proposed activities are in compliance.


Best Practices Guide to Open Air Poultry Slaughter (OSU)

Open air poultry slaughter best practices

Big Five Organisms

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Boiled Water Advisory Information

Boiled Water Advisory Information from CDC Boiled water information from CDC

Cannabis and Food Safety Information

Information on food safety licenses and cannabis. Cannabis and food safety license handout

Chicken from Farm to Table

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DEQ, Water Quality Program

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Food Employee Interview

Food employee interview form

Food Employee Reporting Agreement

Food employee illness reporting agreement

Food Safety Plan Review Application

Plan review application can be submitted by a business along with their plans. Document

Food Safety Plan Review Requirements-English

Plan Review Requirements Document

Food Safety Plan Review Requirements-Spanish

Plan Review Requirements Document

Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA

FAQs about service animals

Guidance for Determining if a Poultry Processing or Slaughter Operation is Exempt


Inspection for Food Safety: The Basics


Manager Certification

Certificates that will meet the food protection manager requirements in the food code. Document

Meat Law: Labeling and inspection of meat and meat food products

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Meat Law: Meat Sellers and Slaughterers

Law or rule

Meat Licensing Information


Meat Regulation

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Mushroom Buyer Certificate


ODA Food Code 2013

The food code is used to regulate retail grocery stores, retail meat and bakeries ODA Food Code 2013

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet # 1 No Bare Hand Contact

No bare hand contact

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet # 2 Reduced Oxygen Packaging Without a Variance Requires HACCP

ROP without a variance requires HACCP

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet # 3 Variances


ODA Food Code Fact Sheet # 4 Cook/Chill and Sous Vide Requires HACCP

Cook/Chill and Sous Vide HACCP

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet # 5 Employee Illness Policy

Employee illness policy

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet # 6 Consumer Advisory

Consumer advisory

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet # 7 Allergens


ODA Food Code Fact Sheet # 8 Wild Mushrooms

Wild mushroom

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet # 9 Pet Dogs in Outdoor Designated Seating Areas

Pet dogs and outdoor seating

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet #10 Proper Glove Use

Proper glove use

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet #11 Cut Leafy Greens

Cut leafy greens

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet #12 Cut Tomatoes

Cut tomatoes

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet #13 Probe Thermometers

Probe thermometers

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet #14 Sprouting Seeds or Beans

Sprouting seeds or beans

ODA Food Code Fact Sheet #15 Pest Control Plans

Pest control plans

ODA Food Code Significant Changes

Food code significant changes

Oregon State University (OSU), Small Farms, Poultry


Pet Food Regulation

Law or rule

Poultry Product Inspection Act

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Retail HACCP Guidance


Risk Classification Criteria for Food Establishments


USDA Federal Grant of Inspection Guide




Variance Application

Editable Word document Document

What you need to know about manufacturing and labeling pet food and treats



Next step

Get a license application​​

More info from ODA​​

Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO)

Agricultural Water Quality​


Main Office
Food Safety
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-4720